The United Kingdom has started shipping air defense missiles to Ukraine to help the country protect its people and critical infrastructure from Russia’s drone attacks and bombing runs.
The UK Ministry of Defence announced the new package of defense assistance following intensified assaults in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa from hundreds of Russian drones and missiles.
The latest military hardware shipment comprises around 200 air defense missiles known as Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles. Manufactured by MBDA, ASRAAM is designed to be launched from combat aircraft such as the F-35 fighter and the U.K.’s Typhoon jets.
The missiles, which will replenish the air defense systems that the U.K. previously delivered to Kyiv in 2022, will further bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, the ministry said.
In a statement, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the new round of military aid underscores the U.K.’s continuing commitment to supporting Ukraine “in the face of Russian barbarity.” He also called Moscow’s airstrikes targeting key Ukrainian cities its “futile attempt to regain momentum” after losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the ongoing conflict.
The latest military shipment from London follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent pronouncement that the U.K. will continue providing military support to Ukraine, with the government allocating $2.9 billion worth of defense assistance through the end of the fiscal year 2024.